This Daily Current Affair Capsule aims to be a time-saving tool for going through relevant news from national dailies and government releases on PIB. Aspirants for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. will find it highly useful to cover for revision and awareness purposes.
National Important Current Affairs – 2 July 2018
■ The Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai were declared as World Heritage site by UNESCO. This decision was taken at the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO at Manama in Bahrain. This makes Mumbai city the second city in India after Ahmedabad to be included on the World Heritage List. Now, India has overall 37 World Heritage Inscriptions with 29 Cultural, 07 Natural and 01 Mixed sites.
- The site consists of a 19th-century collection of Victorian structures and 20th century Art Deco buildings. These two ensembles bear testimony to the phases of modernization that Mumbai has undergone in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries.
- These buildings also include public buildings of the High Court, Mumbai University, Old Secretariat, Cricket Club of India, and iconic cinema halls of Eros and Regal.
- This latest inscription gives Mumbai the distinction of having three Unesco World Heritage Sites (Elephanta, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and the Victorian & Art Deco Ensembles).
While India stands second largest in number after China in terms of a number of World Heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, it is overall 6th in the world.
Note that: In the past 5 years alone, India has managed to get inscribed seven of its properties/sites on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
About Art deco and Victorian styles of architecture in Mumbai: Mumbai’s Art Deco buildings house residential properties, commercial offices, hospitals and single screen movie theatres, including the popular Regal and Eros cinemas. Their characteristics include elegant Deco fonts, marble floors and spiral staircases. Most of the Art Deco buildings, including along the three-kilometre long palm-fringed Marine Drive promenade, are five storeys high and painted in bright colours such as yellow, pink and blue. On the other hand, some of Mumbai’s most recognisable buildings are built in the Victorian Gothic style, including the city’s famous main train station, which used to be known as Victoria Terminus. The Bombay high court, Mumbai University and the headquarters of the city’s civic authority are other examples of that style
■ A 216-foot-tall statue of Ramanujacharya is set to be built at Hyderabad. It will become the world’s second tallest statue of a seated figure. Presently, the Great Buddha of Thailand is the tallest statue, at 302-feet. Second tallest statue is the Guanyin figure on Mount Xiqiao in China’s Guangdong region, at 203 feet.
About Ramanujacharya: He is recognized as the chief proponent of Vishishtadvaita subschool of Vedānta. He was a Hindu theologian, philosopher, and one of the most important exponents of the Sri Vaishnavism tradition within Hinduism. His philosophical foundations for devotion were instrumental to the Bhakti movement. He wrote influential texts, such as bhāsya on the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, all in Sanskrit.
■ India is in the process of inducting the first batch of its intercontinental ballistic missile system, Agni-V, which will bring targets across China within its range, and is expected to significantly bolster the country’s military prowess.
The missile system, with a strike range of 5,000 km and capablilty of carrying nuclear warhead, will be inducted into the elite Strategic Forces Command (SFC).
About Agni-5 Ballistic Missile: It is a surface-to-surface missile which can carry nuclear warhead weighing 1.5 tonnes and is the longest missile in India’s arsenal capable of reaching most parts of China. The missile features many new indigenously-developed technologies, including the very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS), and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) which improves the accuracy of the missile.
Note that: Presently, India has in its armoury the Agni series — Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2,000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500 km to more than 3,500 km range.
■ The Madhya Pradesh Government has conferred prestigious National Kalidas Samman on noted artist Anjolie Ela Menon for her contribution to visual arts. The award was conferred in recognition of her insightful and sensitive portrayal of the identity and spirit of women through her meaningful paintings in a variety of media.
About Kalidas Samman: It is a prestigious arts award presented annually by the government of Madhya Pradesh in India. The award is named after Kālidāsa, a renowned Classical Sanskrit writer of ancient India. The Kalidas Samman was first awarded in 1980.
■ The Odisha State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) for effective management of disasters. The RIMES and OSDMA collaboration is set to contribute to global efforts targeted to substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems as articulated in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
About RIMES: Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System was established on 30 April 2009 to provide user-relevant early warning services to its Member States and others. It is a UN registered international and inter-governmental institution. It is owned and managed by its 48 members and collaborating states for building capacities in the generation and application of user-relevant early warning information. The RIMES is a UN Registered international and inter- governmental institution, owned and managed by its 48 Members and Collaborating States for building capacities in the generation and application of user-relevant early warning information.
■ The 9th Heads of Mission Conference is being held in New Delhi from June 30-July 2, 2018. It has seen the participation of all Indian ambassadors and high commissioners and deliberated on India’s key foreign policy issues and goals. This conference is being held at the time when India is monitoring several important global developments including sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia and Iran, and China’s new assertiveness in Indo-Pacific region. The theme is: ‘Unprecedented Outreach: Unparalleled Outcomes’.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 2 July 2018
■ The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2018 (AMCDRR 2018) will be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 3rd July. It is convened by the UN Office for DRR (UNISDR) and the Government of Mongolia. The conference will enable governments and stakeholders to review progress made against the commitments at the AMCDRR 2016, i.e. the New Delhi Declaration, the Asia Regional Plan, and ten stakeholder voluntary action statements.
This conference will represent a key milestone for reflection on three years into the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
The theme of the AMCDRR 2018: ‘Preventing Disaster Risk: Protecting Sustainable Development’.
About AMCDRR: It was established in 2005, AMCDRR is a biennial conference jointly organized by different Asian countries and the UNISDR. India had hosted the second AMCDRR in New Delhi in 2007.
About Sendai Framework: The “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030” was adopted during the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March, 2015. It is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. It was endorsed by the UN General Assembly following the 2015 Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR). The Framework is for 15-year. It is a voluntary and non-binding agreement which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.
■ The Golden Globe Race is being conducted by Sir Robin Knox Johnston of UK in order to commemorate 50 years since the world’s first solo non-stop circumnavigation undertaken by him in 1968 onboard the Indian built boat, Suhaili. Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy is the only invitee from Asia.
The novelty of the race is that boat designs and technology newer than 1968 is not permitted, hence the use of Global Positioning System (GPS), satellite communication, navigational aids, etc is forbidden.
■ The 42nd session of World Heritage Committee (WHC) meeting of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held in Manama, Bahrain has inscribed overall four cultural sites on the World Heritage List. These four cultural sites are :
- Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai (India)
- Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region (Iran)
- Hidden Christian Sites in Nagasaki Region (Japan)
- Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea (South Korea)
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 2 July 2018
■ 1st of July 2018 was celebrated as ‘GST day’, to commemorate the first year of the unprecedented reform of Indian taxation. Goods and Services Tax (GST) binds the country in an Economic Union as it has subsumed over a dozen local levies and transformed India into “one nation, one tax”.
Note that: GST was rolled out in the middle night of June 30 and July 1, 2017.
■ The Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) has extended the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking from June 30, 2018, to March 31, 2019. This is the 5th time the government has extended the deadline for individuals to link their PAN with their Aadhaar.
This fresh CBDT order has come against the backdrop of the Supreme Court order earlier this year directing extension of the 31 March 2018 deadline for linking Aadhaar card with various other services. The SC had ordered that the deadline should be extended till the five-judge constitution bench delivers its judgment on petitions challenging the validity of the biometric scheme and the enabling law. The government has now made quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns (ITRs) as well as obtaining a new PAN.
■ India has moved up 15 places to reach at 73rd position in terms of money parked by its citizens with Swiss banks in 2017, while the UK remains on top. The UK accounts for over 27% (403 billion francs) of the total foreign money while India accounted for 0.07%.
The top 5 countries in this List are: UK, US, West Indies, France, Hong Kong.
■ Germany’s multinational conglomerate company ThyssenKrupp and India’s Tata Steel have signed a final agreement to establish a joint steel venture, marking the European steel industry’s largest deal in over 12 years. The resultant entity will be called ThyssenKrupp Tata Steel BV, will have around 48,000 workers.
Note that: This deal is set to create Europe’s second-largest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal.
Sports Current Affairs – 2 July 2018
■ The Indian kabaddi team beat Iran to lift the Kabaddi Masters 2018 title in Dubai. The Indian team will now focus on the Asian games. The six-nation invitational tournament was organised by International Kabaddi Federation (IKF).
Note that: India is the reigning world champions and now also hold the title of the Kabaddi Masters too.
■ The Indian men’s hockey team has entered the final of the last-ever edition of Champions Trophy after drawing hosts Netherlands in their last group match. This is the second consecutive time that India reached the final of the Champions Trophy.
■ Noted Hollywood actor Stanley Anderson has passed away at 78 years of age. Stanley was best known for his role as Judge Vandelay in Seinfeld, an American television sitcom, General Slocum in Spider-Man (2002).
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 2 July 2018 “
Q1. India has pledged how much amount of aid to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)?
- A) $5 million
- B) $10 million
- C) $25 million
- D) $30 million
Q2. The 2018 International Day of Tropics is observed on which date?
- A) June 27
- B) June 28
- C) June 29
- D) June 30
Q3. Who has been elected the new Director General (DG) of International Organization for Migration (IOM)?
- A) Christine A. Elder
- B) Abraham Hanson
- C) Antonio Vitorino
- D) George Crennan
Q4. Which Indian journalist has authored the book “Eleventh Hour” to pay tribute to the men in uniform?
- A) Karan Thapar
- B) Arun Shourie
- C) Hussain Zaidi
- D) Madhu Trehan
Q5. Which committee has been constituted by the Union Government to upgrade norms for state & district level economic data collection?
- A) Kabir Khan committee
- B) Sanjay Gupta committee
- C) Ravindra H Dholakia committee
- D) R S Kashyap committee
Answer these questions in the comments below. We encourage you to discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post. The idea is to promote healthy discussions on interesting issues to make preparation fun. Have a good day!